Look, I’m not a creative genius and I don’t anticipate being Medium’s Top Writer any time in the near future. Maybe far future. Maybe. It’s not a goal of mine, is my point. I don’t really care if everything I write is received well. I write because I’ve always written. Writing is a part of me.
There’s this idea out there that if you’re passionate about something then you’ll work hard at it because you love it, and you’ll naturally get really good and eventually become successful.
I’ve never beat anyone in a race even though I loved running. I’ve never won an award for poetry but I still write poems. There are a lot of things I try and do regularly that never even lift off the ground. …
Aches and pains are just a part of life, right? Stress can make our neck and shoulders hurt, even create gnarly muscle knots and trigger points. Totally normal, millions of people deal with stressed muscles every day.
Do you have an ache that only happens when you do certain things like sports or exercise? Just take a pain killer, grab an armband, ice it, or maybe get some therapy from a sports doctor. Again, it’s just a part of living an active life.
Or is it?
Here’s the thing, several years ago, I started waking up with the worst headaches and back pain. The two pains always occurred together. It felt like my skull and backbones were out of place, as though I had experienced physical trauma in my sleep. What had I done? Nothing. The worst part? No painkiller touched it. No amount of physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, prayer, chakra balancing, diet changes, type of pillow, type of shoe, or wishing it away helped in the least. …
By eight-years-old, my daughter has already been forced to sit on a boy’s lap against her will, had her cheek pinched by a boy who ignored her screaming and left a mark on her face, been told by teachers “boys will be boys” when the boys wouldn’t leave her alone, been stared at by boys so commonly and to such an uncomfortable degree that she has developed a “strategy” of staring back until they look away. Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn’t.
There are plenty of kids who experience far worse but their experiences don’t void out my daughter’s. My heart breaks for those who suffer more but I’m not going to turn a blind eye to my daughter’s pain because it’s not as painful as someone else’s; that would make me a bad parent to the child I am responsible for. …
Gone are the days of believing I have a right to direct my life. Full autonomy? That’s a myth! Dancing to the beat of my own drum- never! Follow my heart, walk my path, find my true self? Lies-lies-lies!
The ONLY way to live is according to what others think.
It doesn’t matter if I’m told to do contradictory things. Be a doctor and a lawyer? Done. Be a Catholic, Evangelical, Paganist, Mormon- I’m everything all at once! In fact, I trust in God and believe there’s no such thing.
I’m also a botanist, writer, Human Resources Director, 4-star Admiral, and a self-employed digital nomad abstract artist notary public. …
And one day I was 39 years old and one of the 47% of Gen Xers who has little to no money saved in a retirement account.
Instead of focusing on all that I could’ve done differently over the years, I focused on the present: what could I do now to help my future?
Since time was no longer on my side, simply saving money or investing in low-risk portfolios were useless actions. I needed to choose the highest-earning, fastest-growing, most compounding options I could find.
The good news is there are many new options for saving and investing that did not exist 5, 10, 15 years ago. …
Where are my fellow Gen-Xers?
Do you remember the days when we had to physically go to the place we wanted to work and fill out an application?
The application was long and tedious and required us to handwrite our work history, including dates, and references and their phone numbers? We either memorized those phone numbers or had them written down on a piece of paper.
Then we raced home to check our answering machines for a call.
How did we survive that?
Thinking back to the 80s and 90s makes me appreciate how technology has improved job hunting. Though the automated, non-human systems that have taken over recruiting are frustrating in new ways, at least we don’t have to literally hit the pavement to find a job anymore. We can copypasta, auto-login, upload a digital resume to databases, and apply for hundreds of jobs in a day if we are so inclined. …
In each of my jobs, there has been an antagonist that has, at one time or another, made me feel small and incapable. They are hyper-critical, condescending individuals with ever-changing expectations, and who only accept a task is sufficient if their unspoken personal preferences are met.
In my last job, I found myself reaching a breaking point when I realized I was working with not just one such negative personality, but three.
As strong-willed and outgoing as I was, I could not overcome the feeling of smallness that came with months of constant insinuations that I wasn’t smart enough.
It didn’t matter that I was being trained by someone who kept all information in her head rather than create a manual; I was supposed to remember every single passing comment — “I told you…